Westminster Abbey and Saint Paul’s Cathedral are two of the more popular tourist attractions requested on our London Highlights Tour. Beyond these two magnificent places of worship, there are quite a few other cathedrals and churches in London with hundreds of years of rich history worthy of a visit. With that in mind, below are the top 10 London cathedrals and churches to check out on your next visit. Many are overlooked, but they truly can spice up your trip with their beauty and historical importance.
Address: Sloane Street, Belgravia, London SW1X 9BZ
The Holy Trinity is a giant, elegantly designed and historic London cathedral comprised mainly of brick. While the Holy Trinity has a significant place in history, it was redesigned not too long ago and holds the title of the widest London Cathedral. Not only can the beauty and uniqueness of the church somewhat allure you, but there are so many experiences you can enjoy by dropping for a visit inside. From the very start of the Holy Trinity, a choir was maintained along with an organ, so a welcoming visit with music can be expected.
St. Dunstan’s Stepney
Address: Stepney High Street, London, E1 0NR
A more archaic looking London Church, St. Dunstan’s Stepney has a long history. This church has been a favorite place for Christian worship for over 1,000 years. The design is rather small and elongated than wide, and the interior is full of historical pieces that are worth seeing. Ultimately, the most notable feature of St Dunstan’s would have to be the bells that have a historic place at the church and are tuned to C sharp. St Dunstan’s is actually tourist-friendly, as it is open to new visitors and different worshippers stemming from all over the world.
St. Dunstan in the West
Address: 186a Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2HR
Located on a famous London street known as Fleet, St. Dunstan in the West is a cathedral originating from the Medieval Era and was built and dedicated to honouring a former bishop of London. Because Fleet Street was being reconstructed and widened, St. Dunstan was renovated in the early 19th century. Unfortunately, the stained glass feature of the church was lost some time ago, but the interior is a must-see. The elegantly and strategically placed windows help give good lighting and shadows, which ultimately creates a cozy feeling. One should not overlook this destination, however, as one may see other features such as the clock monument dating all the way back to 1671. Another famous monument and statue located at this church is the famous statue of Queen Elizabeth I, also known as the oldest statue placed outdoor in London.
St. Martin in the Fields Church
Address: Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 4JJ
If you are touring and looking for a vastly populated, quick moving, and overall enjoyable church, St. Martin in the Fields should be one of your top destinations. Located in the City of Westminster, London, St. Martin in the Fields Church has a long history stemming in both the Roman and Medieval Era. Due to decay, the church was rebuilt but still stands as an iconic and beautiful building in Westminster, London. The church even has some references to modern culture and entertainment, with it appearing on the long-running series Doctor Who and Sherlock. If you plan on attending and visiting, there are many activities for both you and perhaps family members and friends to enjoy. Morning Prayer and concerts are popular within the church; with there even being two concert events to experience, the mini maestro family concert, and the Bach Brandenburg by Candlelight concert.
Address: Cheapside, London, EC2V 6AU
By far one of the most popular and city-oriented churches, St. Mary-le-Bow sits in the City of London. The tall and prominent bell tower is surely one feature to grab one’s attention, and for a good reason. St. Mary-le-Bow’s bells serve as part of the nursery rhyme, Dick Whittington and His Cat, which is by far their most popular presence in modern culture. Weekday morning and evening prayers take place at St Mary-le-Bow if you would like to visit for the religious experience. The statues and monuments located all over the church and churchyard are worth seeing, such as the milepost of bow bells, a statue dedicated to Captain John Smith, and, last but not least, the golden dragon weathervane which sets on the highest peak of the church.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Address: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD
This London Cathedral could not be complete without the standout, yet classic and sleek design of the checkered tile. Much thought went into this cathedral due to it having to be a replacement for the old St. Paul Cathedral that came before it. The dome shape of the ceiling is complemented by an inner illusion, making you view the building and structure a bit differently, as it if was bigger, or perhaps even wider. Either way, the illusion paintings are one of a kind and not a feature to miss out on. Of course, the organ and choir are both popular, as the south choir organ is a gold-encrusted and decently-sized organ with a classic design that perfectly fits the rest of the church’s overall aesthetic.
Address: London Bridge, London, SE1 9DA
Southwark Cathedral is located in Southwark, London. It has a long and rich religious history. Daily worship at Southwark has consisted of many different music scenes over a long period, so dropping by and hearing the organ and choir can be a delightful activity. The organ in Southwark is also one of a kind. Weekly organ recitals are available, so if you would like a chance to play the organ, make sure to plan that into your trip.
Address: 20 Deans yard, Westminster, London, SW1P 3PA
If you are more into gothic inspired and medieval designs, Westminster Abbey is the church for you. Held as a very notable building not only in London but the entire United Kingdom, Westminster Abbey contains a long and rich history which has influenced its current design and historical pieces. The church even holds King Edward’s chair and is known for having hosted several royal weddings. So if you are an enthusiast or simple fan of the British Monarchy, this church should be high on your list of churches and London cathedrals to see. Paintings showcasing the royal wedding and events are also scattered all over the Church, along with stained and beautifully painted glass – mostly found in the Chapter House portion of the church.
Address: 42 Francis Street, Westminster, London SW1P 1QW
While the design of the Westminster Cathedral is not modernly innovated, it is almost completely built from brick and is still standing strong. The architecture enough makes it stand out, especially with its size and highly placed altar. Stained glass and carefully handcrafted and painted mosaics are all over the church, which makes for good memories and photos from your vacation. The musical tradition and history of Westminster Cathedral are not as grand compared to other churches and cathedrals in London, but still, the traditions and organ presence are very welcoming.
Address: Temple, City of London, EC4Y 7BB
Relatively small, the Temple Church has a strategic yet comforting and welcoming design. It’s historical placement and factors should bring you in. The beautiful altar leading down to a beautiful church front and colorful stained glass is simply perfect. This church is more ideal for those looking for a quiet place to visit, and possibly have some time of worship while in London. The presence of organs is more prominent in this church as opposed to a choir, although recitals are not hosted. The design of the church even compliments both it’s choir and organs as it gives the place excellent acoustics due to individually placed ceilings.